Dr. Anthony DeLuca, SUNY Old Westbury

Anthony L. DeLuca, Ph.D. has been a member of the Northeast Regional Honors Council since 2012 when he began serving at SUNY College at Old Westbury, in Old Westbury, New York, as Director of its Honors College.  He has more than 30 years of experience in higher education—15 years as a professor of English and 15 years successively as an academic director, as an assistant dean and as a dean of Academic Affairs. He has taught primarily at senior colleges and universities and served as an administrator at junior and senior colleges. He returned to a director’s position at SUNY Old Westbury out of a desire to help students excel academically and to create an educational environment that meets the needs of the world they will enter after college. He regards himself as strong proponent of a Liberal Arts education, but also has great respect for the latest developments in Civil Studies.  To that end, he has begun the Social Media Project and the Social Entrepreneurial Incubator at SUNY Old Westbury’s Honors College. Through these two projects, students gain real world experience immediately without waiting for an internship in their sophomore or junior year.  They educate themselves about a problem that needs to be addressed on campus, in their local community, in New York State and in the U.S.  Then they educate others, contacting local government, philanthropic, and business professionals to raise seed money where needed. Most importantly, students use their education, skills and good will to help others and make the world a better place for all by disseminating important information in effective ways and by starting businesses that contribute to the good of society.

Anthony believes that as Vice President of the NRHC, he can help guide the future development and growth of what he regards as a wonderful organization that changes the lives of students every year at conferences and via the daily academic and social interactions that the NRHC provides for honors students, faculty and staff.

President-elect and 2019 Conference Chair

Professor Kathryn MacDonald, Monroe College


Kat MacDonald is the Coordinator of the Honors Program and a faculty member in the English Department at Monroe College. She holds a Master’s degree in Mass Media and Communication from Fordham University and bachelor’s degrees in English, Communication Arts, and Women’s Studies from the College of New Rochelle. Before coming to Monroe College as a full-time faculty member (she was an adjunct first) in 2010, she served on the editorial team of Reader’s Digest.

Serving the students in her college’s Honors Program has been most rewarding. She believes NRHC gives students the opportunity to present their research, collaborate with their peers, and become exposed to new ideas and places. She has had the pleasure of mentoring the Student Reps since 2013, when her first student served in Niagara Falls. Subsequently, two students from her institution served at Cambridge in 2015. Another of her students served as Student Representative in Pittsburgh in 2017. She is excited to serve in the role of Vice President, and she will continue to mentor the newly elected Student Reps for NRHC 2018 in Providence. Watching the students grow and learn is extremely satisfying. Kat believes that honors is all about the students, and we are here to make that experience unforgettable. Kat can be reached at

Vice President

This position is currently vacant.

Immediate Past President

Ms. Helen-Margaret Nasser, Kingsborough Community College


Helen-Margaret Nasser is the Director of the Student Union and Intercultural Center (SU&IC) at Kingsborough Community College in Brooklyn, NY. Prior to this role, Nasser served as Associate Director of the Honors Program and the Executive Assistant to the Associate Provost for eight years. Nasser holds a bachelor’s degree from McGill University (Canada) in political science and international development studies and a master’s degree in political science from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York where she concentrated on Middle East identity and civil society politics. She has been the administrator for the NEH funded Bridging Cultures to Form a Nation grant at Kingsborough and has supported faculty in their course redesign, innovations and event planning around themes of democracy, diversity, and community. She is heavily involved in civic engagement efforts, organizes the colleges annual Immigration Day events, and offers extensive support to students. Nasser also serves as the Advisor for the Honors Club and the Phi Theta Kappa Chapter on campus. She is very pleased to engage the students in civic engagement and social justice projects in this role. Nasser has also volunteered with Heifer International and has co-chaired benefit events in the Brooklyn area grossing over $50,000 for the organization. Prior to working at Kingsborough, Helen served as a staff member at the Student World Assembly from 2007 to 2009.


Dr. Michael Tasto, Southern New Hampshire University

Dr. Michael Tasto is a Professor of Economics and Chair of the Department of Finance and Economics at Southern New Hampshire University. His primary research fields of interest is urban and regional economics and has been an Excellence in Teaching Nominee at SNHU in 2009 and 2010.

He received his B.S. in Economics from St. John’s University in 2001, his M.A in Economics in 2006 and his Ph.D. in Economics in 2007 from Georgia State University.

He has given numerous presentations at academic conferences, published peer-reviewed journal articles, and co-edited 2 books on entrepreneurship.

He currently serves as Treasurer for the SNHU Professional Employees Association and was one of the lead negotiators for the Association’s 5-year faculty and staff contract (representing over 1,600 employees).

Executive Secretary

Richard Cohen is an Associate Professor in the Department of Astronomical, Geological, Atmospheric, Physical, and Environmental Sciences at Nassau Community College in Long Island, N.Y. where he specializes in teaching courses in weather and climate.  Additionally, he has served as the Co-Coordinator of the Honors Program since 2015 and is the advisor for the Honors Club.  Prof. Cohen holds a bachelor’s degree in Meteorology from Penn State University, a master’s degree in Secondary Education from Adelphi University in N.Y., and is a Doctoral candidate in the Science Education program at Stony Brook University in N.Y.  His current research is focused on the connection between science and mathematics coursework and the graduation and transfer rates of non-math and non-science majors at Community Colleges.  Prior to working at Nassau, Richard was a high school teacher in Long Island and New York City for eight years.

Richard believes the NRHC provides an incredible opportunity for students who are just beginning their academic careers to get experience presenting at conferences and he is excited by the opportunity to serve the organization.  Richard can be reached at

Web Editor

Chris Brittain, Ramapo College of New Jersey

Brittain, Chris 6.12.13 24

Chris Brittain is the Assistant Director of the Ramapo College of New Jersey Honors Program. He graduated from Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania in 2010 with a Bachelor’s degree in English and Communication Media and in 2012 with a Master’s degree in Liberal Arts with a concentration in Higher Education Administration. He has been working with Honors Programs in the Northeast Region for nine years and co-created the Pennsylvania Honors Development Conference in 2012. In addition to being the Web Editor for the Northeast Regional Honors Council for the past two years, he spends much of his time pursuing interests in web design, photography, and event-planning. Chris’s email address is

Faculty Representatives

Dr. Bruce Thompson, Frederick Community College


Bruce Thompson (Ph.D., University of Maryland) is a professor of history and has been the honors coordinator at Frederick Community College in Frederick, Maryland, since 2004. He also has served as Secretary-Treasurer (2010-2016) for the Maryland Collegiate Honors Council, hosted a state conference, and is a member of the National Collegiate Honors Council Two-Year Committee (2009- Present). His scholarship focuses on Maryland’s role in the emergence of the civil rights movement. He has been a Visiting Fellow with the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute at Harvard University, received an innovation award for setting up a regional history center, and won a faculty excellence award. Bruce’s email address is


Dr. Matthew S. Ward, Daeman College

Dr. Matthew S. Ward is an Associate Professor at Daemen College and serves as the Director of the Daemen College Honors Program. Graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry from Hiram College (with Honors), Dr. Ward earned his Ph.D. in Inorganic Chemistry from the University of Pittsburgh. After completing his Ph.D., Matthew accepted a Camille and Henry Dreyfus Postdoctoral Fellowship at Furman University in South Carolina. As a graduate of a small liberal arts college with a strong background in undergraduate research, Dr. Ward hopes to provide Daemen students the foundation to pursue goals beyond their initial expectations. In his role as Honors Program Director, Dr. Ward actively recruits students to apply to and complete the requirements for the Daemen College Honors Program. Additionally, Matthew encourages students to present their research findings at the Northeast Regional Honors Council conference.

Conference Assistant

Nathalie Waldschmidt, Monroe College

Nathalie Picture NRHC

Nathalie Waldschmidt graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business management from Monroe College, New York in December 2017, and she now works for their Honors Program as an administrative assistant.

Nathalie served as student representative for the 2016 NRHC conference in Cambridge, Massachusetts and has been supporting the Executive Board as conference assistant since the summer of 2016.

During her time at Monroe, Nathalie acted as president of the Honors Student Board, she was a member of the NCHC Student Affairs Committee, and she was also active as an editor for UReCA, the NCHC web journal of undergraduate research.

Her role as conference assistant includes supporting the president-elect in the planning of the upcoming conference, organizing room assignments, creating the conference program, and securing sponsorships. Nathalie’s email address is

Student Representatives

Autumn Barszcowski, Point Park University

Autumn Barszczowski is a junior at Point Park University in Pittsburgh. She is a Public Relations and Advertising major with a minor in Psychology. She will be serving as her Honors Program’s President-Elect and returning as a freshmen/transfer mentor. Since starting college, she has been active in the Honors Program, including going to honors events, holding a position on the executive board, and attending two alternative spring break trips to New York City. Outside of Honors, she will be president for Point Park’s chapters of the Public Relations Student Society of America and the American Advertising Federation. She will also act as Business Manager for The Globe, the student newspaper, and Treasurer for the Society of Professional Journalists. She is passionate about her education, going above and beyond for most of her classes. In her leadership role in Honors, she hopes to help other students stay on track with their education. She decided to run for Student Rep for NRHC 2018 in Rhode Island because she enjoyed attending the Pittsburgh conference this year. She finds it exciting to meet so many wonderful honors students. The experience allowed her to see other students’ work and learn more about other colleges’ honors programs. She hopes to deliver a fun and exciting experience to all the student attendees in Providence.

Maria Shapiro, St. Francis College

My name is Maria Shapiro and I attend St. Francis College – a small, liberal arts institution located in Brooklyn Heights, New York. I am a rising sophomore pursuing my bachelor’s degree in psychology. Upon my acceptance to St. Francis College I was invited to be a member of the Honors Program, which I gladly accepted. Being a student of the Honors Program at St. Francis College does more than challenge me academically; it gives me opportunities to become more involved in the community in philanthropic aspects as well as academic representations. One of my favorite events affiliated with my college’s Honors Program was attending the 2017 Northeast Regional Honors Council (NRHC) Conference in Pittsburgh. The 2017 NRHC Conference was the first conference I participated in and I really enjoyed my time there. It is an honor to be elected to serve on the Executive Board of the Northeast Regional Honors Council as a Student Representative. My objective is to make the NRHC 2018 Conference a success, and allow other students to share the experience I had (but even better).